Column: Thank you, Round Up


Cassidy Kuester

2018-19 Round Up Editor in Chief Derek E. Gonzales

It has been a phenomenal three-year and five month ride working for the independent student voice of New Mexico State University since 1907.

Just as fast as it came, it has now gone. 

There are so many people to thank for this ride and I want to give credit where it is due because none of the success and memories I have been a part of happens without the help of God’s grace, an amazing support system, and a terrific university that provides their students the opportunity to chase a dream. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared our Savior in Jeremiah 29:11 in the Bible. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The plans He has had for me thus far have not provided what I would interpret as a straight road, but I ended up where I was wanted to be, and that was a part of something greater than myself at the university I grew up rooting for, making memories with a group of people that we will cherish forever.

The Round Up will forever hold a large place in my heart but the opportunity to become an employee would have never happened if my parents had not raised me the way they had, guiding me in a strict military household that did not feel at times was fair but necessary. 

Mom and Dad, I thank them for holding me accountable growing up and for making sure I understood that it was me and only me that would control the outcome of my life. Through seeing the sacrifices they made for me to just grow up as a normal kid, I knew I owed it to them to work as hard as I possibly can to cultivate the life I always wanted. 

Grandma Cristina, she let me live in her house through college and cooked me boiled chicken and eggs for nearly three whole years. The saying goes that there’s no love like the one a grandchild gets from their grandmother and she proved that to me everyday. At 80 years old, she still works full-time. I woke up every morning wanting to run through a brick wall for her. 

I just hope I made her proud, along with my Grandpa Jimmy, who I believe reads The Round Up everyday in heaven and will smile down on me on graduation day.

This all was for him.

My surrounding family often offered me support, which came as simple as going to an Aggie game to see me and say hi  or conversing with me on social media and those gestures meant a lot to me. 

Because The Round Up was a magazine when I began coming to school at NMSU five years ago, I too, like a lot of people, did not know we even had a student newspaper. It was through a direct message I sent to Geoff Grammer on Twitter that eventually led to an information-heavy email he took the time to send a random college kid during college basketball season (his busiest time of the year) that encouraged me to apply at The Round Up. Grammer knows how I feel about him and the affinity I have towards him will last a lifetime. 

Of course, I had to get hired here, and it was Albert Luna that brought me on board. I had never worked in media before so I just submitted him a general article on my beloved Phoenix Suns. Despite being a Dallas Mavericks fan, we hit it off during the interview and that was all it took. Albert and I did not see eye to eye all the time but it was an absolute blast working under him.

The foundation he laid for the newspaper is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen anybody do. He came up with the website, staff structure, position titles, everything. He bought the cake ingredients, put them in the mixing bowl, mixed it all together and spread it across the baking tray — all I had to do as Editor in Chief was put the cake in the oven and take it out. 

So many people have helped me. Jason Groves, Mark Rudi, DJ Downs, Mario Moccia, Chet Savage, John Vu, Chris Kennedy, Adam Young, Vicki & Doug Martin, Paul Weir, Brooke Atkinson, Brian Green, Mike Jordan, Katrina Chandler, Justin Bannister, Lucas Peerman, Heath Haussamen, Tim Parker, John Smallwood, — I don’t get this far without them, along with countless others. The list could go on and on but these folks have been crucial during this endeavor.

All of my friends and wonderful girlfriend Julia, I am sure it was not easy affiliating with a guy that was always getting roasted on Twitter, even if said friends were sometimes the ones doing the roasting. I must thank them and her for sticking with me. 

To our readers — our biggest fans and toughest critics — thank you to you too. It was through your encouragement and feedback that gave us the fuel to continue to strive for greatness and to be the best we could be. 

As it is time to move on, we at The Round Up can acknowledge that our process together has ended, as all good things do. But that is OK, because no group ever trusted the process with energy, effort, enthusiasm and love quite like we did.

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